Are you wondering which of the many Louvre Museum tours is right for you?
As the largest museum in the world, and the most visited museum in the world, visiting the Louvre can be an overwhelming excursion.
But tours of the Louvre Museum can help you make the most of your time seeing the museum, and some of the world’s most famous artworks.
On this page, you will find a comprehensive guide to Louvre Museum tours, including private tours, group tours, tours for kids, night tours, audio-guide tours and more.
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Louvre Museum tours – Is it worth taking a tour?
With 35,000 works of art spread across its 70,000 square meter exhibition space, the Louvre Museum is the largest museum in the world.
It is so large, in fact, that it is impossible to see everything in one visit or even over several visits. If you wanted to see every masterpiece and historical object on display in the Louvre, you would need to spend nearly 100 days within the museum.
Even then, that would mean being in the Louvre and dedicating only 30 seconds to each object, which would be a crazy endeavor to attempt.
If you can’t abandon work and other life priorities to spend 100 days in the Louvre (at least we can dream, right?), the best option is to take a tour. Dedicated tour guides can lead you to the most notable exhibition highlights in order to make the most of your time in the cultural heart of Paris.
Is booking a tour for the Louvre Museum worth it?
Booking a tour for the Louvre Museum is absolutely worth it. Some people prefer to browse the Louvre and leisurely wander its halls at their own pace. However, if you opt to have a guide, the tour is conducted at a pleasant pace and your guide will ensure that you see the Louvre’s most prominent artworks.
Hiring a guide for your tour of the Louvre offers a number of benefits.
- It’s super easy – There is no hassle involved in organizing a tour. Your tickets will be bought and ready for you to use, so all you need to do is show up on site. You’ll also skip the ticket queue, meaning you can save precious time in your day and go straight to exploring the Louvre.
- You have better focus – Since there are literally thousands of items contained within the Louvre, unless you’re an art and history buff it would be difficult to know which collections and pieces are the most important and how best to concentrate your time. Your guide will be able to plan your journey through the Louvre and ensure you see and learn about the most important artworks.
- You have help with questions – Perhaps you see something incredibly fascinating and you want to know more about the artist or the inspiration for the piece. With a guide, you have access to expert answers to all of your questions, whereas if you’re alone, you may find yourself googling or simply not knowing anything about what you are looking at.
- You will see all of the important exhibitions – Many people stroll into the Louvre, take an obligatory selfie in front of the Mona Lisa to show friends and family they’ve “done it,” browse aimlessly through the other exhibits for a while and then leave. You may even walk straight past important exhibitions and sculptures like the Venus de Milo because you don’t know what it is! With a guide, you can be sure that you are hitting all the most important spots. After the tour you can wow your loved ones with your cultured art history knowledge.
Louvre Museum tours – Which one is right for you?
So, you have established that you would perhaps like to take a tour of the Louvre. But the tricky question now is, which tour is best for you? In short, this varies from person to person depending on their budget and specific interests and preferences.
If you are happy just to gain insight into the Louvre and its main collections, the standard group or audio tours will provide you with everything you’d like to know. Alternatively, if you have a love for a particular artist or you want to spend longer in the museum, then you can arrange a bespoke private tour tailored to your interests. There are also tours designed for families that will ensure both parents and kids have an enjoyable time.
Whatever specific option you choose, there are perks! All Louvre Museum tours include skip-the-line tickets, meaning more time to stuff your face with French wine and cheese or marvel at the Eiffel Tower later on! The majority of tours (excluding audio tours) also include a licensed English-speaking tour guide that is super knowledgeable and passionate about the Louvre.
So, if you are still scratching your head about which tour option is the best for you personally, you can choose from:
- Audioguided tours – Audioguided tours are the perfect option for those wanting more information, yet equally wanting to explore independently and at their own pace.
- Group tours – The standard guided group tour is often the best option for those on a budget who want to see the highlights of the Louvre and have someone to answer their questions without breaking the bank.
- Private tours – A bespoke, tailor made tour designed specifically to suit your interests. A private tour enables you to concentrate on particular collections or pieces (for example, maybe you are fascinated with Greek history and want to concentrate on the sculptures).
- Express tours – A quick overview of the museum’s highlights.
- Tours for kids and family – Tailor made tours designed to keep the little ones amused and captivated.
- Evening tours – A great option for missing the crowds or fitting your trip around a jam-packed schedule.
- Guided theme tours – Guided tours that focus on a specific theme or topic for cultural buffs and art aficionados.
Louvre Museum audioguided tours
Louvre Museum audio tours are the cheapest tour option and cost only €5 per person in addition to the museum ticket. These can also be bought on the official Louvre Museum website at the same time you purchase your Louvre Museum tickets.
Hot tip: Learn more about Louvre Museum tickets price.
This type of tour is perfect for those who would like a little more information on the exhibits and artworks that they are seeing in front of them, without having to either pay for a tour or move at the same pace as a group tour.
The audioguided tours offered by the Louvre come on a Nintendo 3DS and are available in 9 languages, including English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. It is also available in French Sign Language and comes with French audio descriptors.
The audioguide is also particularly helpful in that it has geotracking and will help you navigate the expansive museum.
The only downside to this type of tour is that you still do not have someone to ask questions to and so you may still find yourself frantically googling for more information.
Louvre Museum group tours
Arguably the “standard” and most popular tour option for visiting the Louvre Museum is to take a guided group tour. For those interested in seeing the most important exhibitions on show at the museum and for an insightful tour, a group option is a good choice.
You’ll benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a local guide who can show you to the Louvre’s best artworks and even lesser-known masterpieces. These tours typically last around 2 hours long, and you’re sure to see some of the top attractions at the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and even the French crown jewels.
Group sizes vary depending on the specific time of year and time of day that you decide to visit the Louvre, however, the experience is made more intimate by the fact that each attendee is often given headphones in order to clearly hear what the guide is saying.
Typically, group tours run in small group sizes in order to ensure that the experience is somewhat intimate and that everyone in the group has the opportunity to speak with and ask questions of the guide as needed.
The Louvre offers its own in-house guided tours, which range from tours of the must-see works to night tours away from crowds. Plenty of tour operators also offer unique guided tours of the Louvre which you can browse and book via TourScanner.
Louvre group tours are inexpensive and the best option for those traveling on a budget.
Louvre Museum private tours
As with all Louvre Museum tours offered, private tours mean that you skip the long line at the entrance and jump right into the cultured action.
If you prefer to travel at your own pace, take in the sights slowly, and have a little independence without joining a group of other people that are hurrying from A to B or asking lots of questions, a private tour may be the best option for you.
For many, visiting the Louvre is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and so it is worth ensuring that you leave Paris feeling like you got the most out of your experience and can look back on every aspect of your trip fondly.
When taking a private tour, you have the expertise of the tour guide all to yourself and you can choose what you want to see or stop at as you move around the museum. For added convenience, it is also possible to organize a hotel pickup when taking a private tour.
Many private tours also offer the option of combining your experience with other highlights in Paris or even embarking on a day trip to major attractions like Versailles on the same day.
Louvre Museum express tours
If you’re pressed for time but still want to visit the Louvre while you’re in Paris, an express tour may be for you. You can’t miss one of the world’s most important museums after all, can you?
Express tours offer you a quick whip around the most notable exhibits without spending too much time in the museum, and last approximately 1.5 hours.
This is also a good option if you only have an hour or two to spare and need to catch a flight. With an express tour you can skip the line at the entrance and go straight to seeing the most famous masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Great Sphinx of Tanis and the Venus de Milo.
Kids and family Louvre Museum tours
Any parent knows that traveling is as good of an education for children as sitting in the classroom. However, sometimes it is difficult to maintain the little one’s attention spans for extended periods, especially in a place as large and stimulating as the Louvre.
Luckily, there are tours of the Louvre Museum designed specifically for kids and families, ensuring both parents and children remain engaged and have a good time.
Tours focused on families make history and art more exciting and engaging for the little people in your life. Many tour options often include games as part of the tour to keep kids entertained while informing them of what they’re seeing. You can even set out on a treasure hunt through the Louvre and alter your tour to suit your family’s interests.
Avoid the crowd – Evening Louvre Museum tours
For a unique experience of the Louvre, you can also opt for an evening tour. These tours are a great way of avoiding the crowd, as most people visit the Louvre during the afternoon.
The Louvre is open for extended hours on Friday evenings. While the museum typically closes at 6 PM, on Fridays, it’s open until 9:45 PM. This makes for an intriguing night out.
You can choose to visit the Louvre at night not only for more privacy but for the stunning ambiance. Some evening tours even focus more on the secrets and legends of the Louvre, giving you fascinating insight into another side of the famous museum.
Themed Louvre Museum tours
Do you have a particular interest or favorite artist? Perhaps you would like to concentrate on art from a certain period or history from a specific country. It’s possible to join a guided theme tour that concentrates on certain aspects of the Louvre’s expansive collections.
A lot of the themed tours offer a fresh perspective on what you’re seeing. Whether you want to focus specifically on Italian art or even learn more about how the classic masterpieces have influenced contemporary art, there’s plenty to gain on a themed Louvre Museum tour.
Tips for booking guided tours of other attractions in Paris – combos
The Louvre is one of several notable attractions in Paris that you must visit during your time in the city. If you are traveling in the French capital, it is more than likely that you also wish to take a boat ride on the Seine, climb the steps of the Eiffel Tower, or marvel at the Versailles Palace while you are in town.
It actually works out cheaper to purchase a package deal that includes admission to another attraction (or several other attractions) when buying your ticket to the Louvre, rather than simply buying everything individually.
This also saves time, since everything is booked and organized at once, and you can focus the remainder of your trip on relaxing and enjoying Paris, rather than hurrying around buying tickets.
It should be noted that prices may change depending on seasonality and demand, and on occasion there may also be interesting deals on offer. As such, it is advisable to compare prices before booking.
These are some of the best combo deals available:
- Louvre Museum + Eiffel Tower: See the best of Paris in one day by combining a trip to the Louvre with a journey up the Eiffel Tower. Many guided tours give you the option of accessing either the second floor or summit of the Eiffel Tower on the same day as your Louvre tour.
- Louvre Museum + Seine river cruise: The Louvre is conveniently located near the banks of the river Seine, making a combined museum tour and boat cruise an ideal day out in Paris. On a cruise down the river Seine, you can admire other notable attractions in Paris including the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Musée d’Orsay. You can also include a summit of the Eiffel Tower for a fully-fledged Parisian experience!
- Louvre Museum + Versailles Palace: For an insightful excursion into French history, visit the Louvre Museum and Versailles Palace on the same day. You can discover how France’s monarchs lived at Versailles before discovering many of the artworks that were once displayed at the chateau.
Are there any free Louvre Museum tours?
Unfortunately, there are no free guided tours of the Louvre. The audio-guided tour, weighing in at €5 per person, is the cheapest option available. Considering the information and experience you are getting, it is still pretty good value for money.
However, it is possible for some people to enter the Louvre for free on any day of the year. Students, children, young people, people with disabilities, job seekers and art teachers among others qualify for discounted entry.
Alternatively, if you are on a very strict budget, all people (regardless of age, nationality, etc.) can enter the Louvre for free on Bastille Day, which is July 14th. As you may expect, this can get incredibly crowded.
Can you cancel or modify your Louvre Museums tour?
It is advisable to plan your Paris schedule thoroughly before booking a tour to make sure that the dates you intend to visit the Louvre are convenient. Some tour providers may offer free modifications or cancellations within certain time frames whereas others do not.
It is recommended to be sure of your dates before booking to avoid the hassle, and to check the small print of the provider you choose to be sure of what the conditions are in case you need to modify or cancel your tour.
Avoid the crowd – When is the best time to visit the Louvre Museum?
As the most visited museum in the world, the Louvre Museum can get very crowded very quickly. When planning your trip, consider visiting Paris outside of the high tourist season to avoid the packed crowds.
When planning your tour of the Louvre Museum, try to opt to visit in the morning or late afternoon or evening, when the crowds are at their fewest. You can even choose from tours that are run on Friday evenings, or late tours that finish with a viewing of the Mona Lisa just before the museum closes and once the majority of people have left.
Are any Louvre Museum tours included in the Paris Pass?
The Paris Pass gives you access to the Louvre Museum and many other attractions and museums in Paris. It is one of the best choice if you want to visit several attractions and museums and you can save some considerable money.
However, a guided tour of the Louvre is not included and it should be organized separately. With a Paris Pass, you will only gain entry to the Louvre.
If you want to check all the details about the Paris pass, you can also check our specific article: Paris Pass – is it worth it?
- Book your guided tour in advance to get the best possible deals and avoid disappointment.
- Consider booking a combination tour of the Louvre Museum and other attractions in order to make the most of your time in Paris.
- The Louvre will require you to walk some distances and be on your feet for periods time as you discover the artwork. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothing to enjoy your time during your tour.
- After your tour, make sure to stop by the restaurants, cafes and gift shops within the Louvre.
- At the end of your tour, you can also spend more time exploring the Louvre on your own and discovering things that you might not have had time to focus on before.
- Don’t forget to explore the Tuileries Garden outside of the Louvre. Accessible for free, the gardens also contain both classical and modern sculptures which you can admire.
- If tickets are sold out for audio-guided tours, check out how to book last-minute Louvre Museum tickets.
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